I'm not sure if I really expected anyone to be there when I turned around.

I guess I did, because when I opened my eyes and didn't see her, I was pretty disappointed.

Then I saw her down the hill, waving. It was her. I knew it had to be the girl from behind the glass wall. And there wasn't any wall separating us now!

Our eyes met and I thought my heart had stopped. I knew time had stopped. There was no time as we stared. There was only us, and we had always been together, and we would always be together.

In my mind I could see us starting to run to each other in slow motion through the field of flowers.

It was love at first sight, and I was head over heels over her. Actually, it was heels over head, because as I started running down the hill, I tripped on a stump and flipped through the air, over her head, and landed behind her.

She ran over and propped my head in her lap. I knew I was in Heaven.

"Cassandra," I whispered, our eyes still locked in an endless dream.

"Uh...no," she said softly, and the dream began to shatter.

She sure looked like my dream girl. Didn't she?

"Uh..." I stammered.

"Mary," she offered.

"Oh," I swallowed. "Hello Mary."

She rubbed some dirt off my forehead. "You are George, aren't you?" she asked tentatively.

I bit my tongue. "Maybe?" I sighed, wishing I could be a little more assertive. "My name might be Johnny," I sniffled, looking away from her eyes. "I know it's not Billy. I don't think it's Michael -- that was just a play. But it could be. But then, hey, I could be George. Would you like it if I was? I'm sure I could be George... Honest!"

Then I told her the story from as far back as I could remember.

We sat together, and she listened to every word I said. And then she kissed me.

"Well, then. You'll be George to me," she whispered, and I realized she was my dream girl after all. Even if I had gotten the names mixed up.

We lay for a while in the flowers that swayed gently in the breeze, looking up at the sky.

"What do you think it was that brought us together?" I asked. "Fate, or do you think there is some Great Plan out there? I mean everything seemed to lead up to this moment."

"I know what you mean," she smiled as she snuggled beside me. "I don't know, but I'm glad we're here together, now."

I held her and I'd never been so happy. "Pinch me, Mary," I laughed. "To make sure it's real. No, wait. Don't, in case it isn't!" I gasped.

"Silly," she giggled, and pinched me. It hurt, and she was still there! Then she threw some flowers at me, laughing.

I jumped up and pulled her back down into my arms.

We laughed and loved and danced and sang together for hours. I didn't know I could sing. I mean, I guess I never really tried. But together we sounded great. It seemed like the birds and the breeze and the trees and everything just sang along.

We ran down to the stream and walked barefoot on the rocks, and swam in the pond, then lay in the flowers, basking in the wonder of it all.

Then I gave her the ring I had worn on my finger since the beggar gave it to me.

"No," she shrugged, she hadn't given it to him. And no, she didn't give him any note to give me. "But," she laughed, "it was 11:00 when we met!"

She looked at her watch. "In fact, it still is 11!"

Time had apparently slowed to a crawl, and that was fine with us.

She pointed up at the road where her car was parked. We ran up together and she put the top down, and we rode through the countryside, soaking in the beauty of life.

"Do you want to go on a cruise?" she asked after we'd been driving and laughing forever.

"Sure, why not!" I chuckled.

She pulled a pair of tickets out from the glove compartment, and we headed for the pier.

The ship sailed off, and we danced cheek to cheek on board, mingling with the other passengers, then stole away together to our cabin down below. The ship docked at exotic ports and we strolled arm in arm, drinking in all that life had to offer us.

I'm sure we saw the entire world, but before I knew it, we were getting out of her car, and we were walking down to the place where we had met.

I looked at her watch and it was a quarter to twelve. Only half of a day had gone by!

"George," she whispered softly as we kissed. "Come on over here." She pulled me over to a large stone.

She reached into her shoe, pulled out something, and put it on the stone. It was her heart, and it was broken in two halves. She looked up at me.

And then I remembered I had my heart in my shoe, too! I pulled it out and placed each of my two halves beside each of hers; they fit perfectly.

Then she took off the ring I had given her, and unwound the foil, then rolled it between her hands into a long piece of silver wire. Slowly she sewed the two sets of halves until there were two whole hearts lying in the moonlight.

She kissed me and we each took one and put them deep in our souls. "George, you know I love you."

"And I love you, Mary."

"I'll always love you, forever and ever."

"And I you."

"You say that now, but try to remember me," she whispered.

"What do you mean, remember you?" I gasped.

"Well, it's almost time for me to go." She looked at her watch and her eyes widened with horror.

"Oh, George, I've got to go right now." She got up and started running towards the car.

I ran after her, grabbed her, and pinned her to the ground.

"What do you mean? You can't leave me!" I shrieked.

"I have to. At Midnight I turn into a pumpkin. I can't let you see me like that!"

"A PUMPKIN!" I almost laughed, but it was just the kind of thing I was beginning to expect lately.

"But Mary, I won't let you go," I argued with my arms around her.

"George," she sighed.

"And that's another thing. If you leave me, will I still be George?" It felt so wonderful having someone to be, and someone to be that someone for.

Somewhere in the distance we both heard a clock, "Gong..."

"This is all a dream," I assured her. "We're going to wake up and we'll be together forever."


"I don't want to go, believe me," Mary whispered.


"But think of all the fun we shared," she offered. "It was wonderful, wasn't it? Just remember all those good times. They will always be with you whenever you think of them."


She looked at her watch again and tried to smile, but there was panic in her eyes and she tried to pull away.


"But I don't want to just remember you. I want you with me. I need you. I love you," I gasped, holding her closer.


"If you go, it'll just be this crazy pointless dream. I'll be no one again. You give it all meaning, a wonderful kind of...Oh, please, don't leave me..."


She looked up the hill where her car was waiting. "How do you think I feel?" she sighed. "I'm the one who's going to be an orange vegetable in a few seconds."


"Kiss me, Mary. Maybe we'll wake up and everything will be OK." I kissed her, and she stopped trying to pull away.


Everything was going to be all right. The world seemed to melt away. There was just me and...


A pumpkin.


I Found You
( Chapter 23- MP3 song demo by Lyndon DeRobertis)

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